The Beauty Before Us

By Katherine Gaines

I’ve known Richmond for a while, growing up just an hour away with family in the city, and living in Oregon Hill this year has given me a greater appreciation for just how beautiful this city is. Most days, however, I forget to see this beauty while I am dodging pot holes both deep and wide or walking down dirty streets where the grime is quite evident. Today I was reminded of Richmond’s great beauty by walking across the river and then down the canal. The river is gorgeous with its many rapids, towering trees, and hidden stonework. Hollywood Cemetery is both beautiful and peaceful as only a cemetery can be. Frankly, we are quite lucky to have the amount of greenery that is in the city, particularly on the waterfront, but I have so often forgotten to observe and enjoy it.

Particularly now that spring is in the air, the days are warm, and the flowers are blooming, I plan to be far more intentional about venturing out to find the beauty that is in and of Richmond. I know that if I do not, I will be missing out on far more than just beautiful sights. For God is ever-present in the beauty of nature. If we can see God in nature, we can recognize that presence everywhere. As St. Patrick put it,

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

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One Response to The Beauty Before Us

  1. Jeannine says:

    Ah, Katherine, I have so enjoyed singing beside you ( as you have kept me on pitch and tried to develop an alto in my soprano ( melody) self). My grandmother always told me that there is good in every place you land- and she was a poor immigrant who landed in a gritty city in urban slums. You truly have a personality that can see the beauty in the least beautiful setting and I know you will carry this gift with you wherever you land!

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